North Clackamas School Board member Libra Forde announced her bid for Clackamas County commissioner today, challenging three-term incumbent Paul Savas.
“We are at a critical crossroads for the future of Clackamas County, and we need a county commission that is up to the challenge,” said Forde, who is also the chief operating officer of Self-Enhancement Inc., a community nonprofit offering resources to minority youth and families, especially those living in poverty.
“We must aim higher and be bolder if we are to meet the moment. I will bring to the job an effective management style, a needed perspective and a commitment to deliver real results for our communities.”
Forde grew up in New York City as the only child of a single parent. Her mother was a model and her father was a Broadway actor. Her grandfather was one of the first Black men to drive a tank in the U.S. Army.
Her background includes a stint playing professional basketball overseas, after which began a career working with young children with special needs. She later married an active-duty service member and founded a first-of-its-kind educational program to better serve children in military families.
She was appointed to the North Clackamas School Board in February 2019 and later won election to that same body. In a press release, she promised to bring a focus on education and supporting young families to her role on the commission, if voters agree to send her to the county seat.
“Every child, regardless of their background or where they live, deserves good housing, quality health care, and a great education,” Forde said. “And just as importantly, we as leaders must empower and listen to the voices of these young people as they challenge us to do better.”
Forde’s other priorities include ensuring Clackamas is an inclusive county that works for all, supporting front-line workers and military service members, and being effective and accountable in government.
Other Clackamas County leaders have endorsed Forde, including former North Clackamas School District Superintendent Matt Utterback, Democratic state Rep. Andrea Salinas of Lake Oswego and Clackamas Women’s Services Executive Director Melissa Erlbaum.
“I can’t wait for Clackamas County to be as excited about Libra as I am,” said Erlbaum. “She sees people’s potential and creates connections to make their lives better. With her experience and abilities, I know Libra will help local governments and the community take care of our vulnerable and build a better future.”
Forde lives in Happy Valley with her three daughters are her superpowers. For more information, visit www.libraforclackamascounty.com.
Forde, Savas and any other candidates who emerge before the March 8 deadline will spar in the May 17, 2022, primary. Any candidate who receives at least 50% of the vote will win the office outright — otherwise, the top two vote-getters will face off in the November general election.
The Position 5 seat on the Board of Commissioners, currently held by Sonya Fischer, is also up for grabs next year. It had no filers as of Sunday. Other open offices at the county include assessor, clerk, treasurer and justice of the peace.
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